Finn Juhl - Design New York Tuesday, June 6, 2017 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Private collection, Løkken, Denmark, acquired directly from Niels Vodder, early 1960s
    Thence by descent to the present owner

  • Literature

    Esbjørn Hiort, Modern Danish Furniture, New York, 1956, pp. 54-55
    Grete Jalk, ed., Dansk Møbelkunst gennem 40 aar, Volume 3: 1947-1956, Copenhagen, 1987, pp. 124-25, 233, 311
    Esbjørn Hiort, Finn Juhl: Furniture, Architecture, Applied Art, Copenhagen, 1990, front cover, pp. 23, 40-41

  • Catalogue Essay

    From 1944 to 1949, Finn Juhl designed some of his finest furniture for the Cabinetmakers’ Guild, held at the Kunstindustrimuseet, Copenhagen. First he created the “FJ 44” dining chair, which was described by one critic as having “a sculptural form which apparently strains the wood to its utmost limits.” Then followed the “FJ 45” armchair which was celebrated for its frame “which is beautifully modeled or organic like a bone,” as stated by Danish architect Erik Herløw in the journal Arkitekten. Each year during this period, Juhl presented designs at the Cabinetmakers’ Guild that were executed by Niels Vodder; the synergy and symbiosis of these two artistic characters resulted in masterpieces of twentieth-century design. Finally in 1949 Juhl designed the present model “FJ 49 A” armchair, which became known as the “Chieftain,” a title rarely used by Juhl, who referred to it as the “Big Chair.” Arguably the apogee of this progression of groundbreaking designs, the “Chieftain” achieved critical acclaim at the Cabinetmakers’ Guild; Politiken described the spry design as being “so full of life that it seems to be almost quivering with vitality. It is expensive and as delicate as a thoroughbred must be.”

Property from a Private Collection, Denmark


"Chieftain" armchair, model no. FJ 49 A

designed 1949, executed circa 1960
Teak, leather.
36 3/4 x 40 7/8 x 34 7/8 in. (93.3 x 103.8 x 88.6 cm)
Executed by cabinetmaker Niels Vodder, Copenhagen, Denmark. Underside branded CABINETMAKER NIELS VODDER/COPENHAGEN DENMARK/DESIGN: FINN JUHL.

$70,000 - 90,000 

Sold for $75,000

Contact Specialist
Cordelia Lembo
Specialist, Head of Sale
+1 212 940 1265


New York Auction 6 June 2017